And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd. Jonah 4:6

A quick devotional thought for today. I will never be able to read this passage without thinking of a message that my friend Jake, missionary to China, preached while he travelled across America raising support and mobilizing young people. It was entitled ” What is your gourd?”.

In this passage we find Jonah becomes exceeding glad. This is not a result of the people of Ninevah turning to God. It is because he found a gourd to cover his head from the heat. Earlier in the chapter we see Jonah angry at what God has done in Ninevah.

It is a strong reminder of how wrong priorities and a self centered life causes unreasonable emotions in our lives. Jonah loved the gourd, even though “thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night”. I challenge you to think about the last 5 times you felt strong emotions. Where they as a response to reading a prayer letter, seeing someone new at your church, or are they all memories of receiving something for yourself.

As Jake used to say in his message “Maybe your gourd is an ipod, a sport, or girl friend… whatever is your source of happiness has become your God!” No gourds for me – thank you.